Tuesday, May 1, 2012

25 Years Ago This Month: May 1987

Everything that makes tons of money at the box office is ripe for sequel production. Beverly Hills Cop II didn't live up to the promise of the first one, which is a smartly written and well-made action film. The sequel finished at number three for the year with $153 million in domestic box office receipts.

Elsewhere in sequels we have American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, again starring Michael Dudikoff, an actor who never really made a splash outside this franchise.

The first chipmunks feature film, an animated tale called The Chipmunk Adventure managed to score only $6.8 million, far less than the recent trio of live action films starring CGI chipmunks.

The first Ernest film, Ernest Goes to Camp raked in $23.5 million, which was good enough for 50th place for the year. This stupid Jim Varney character went on to eventually lead the way through 8 more films.

The teen drama River's Edge, starring Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper, concerns a group of high school students who don't quite know what to do when one of their classmates kills his girlfriend and then shows them the body.

I've never seen Elaine May's Ishtar, with Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as two lounge singers on the road looking for work in the Middle East, but from what I can gather it's not actually as bad as its reputation suggests. It was known at the time for having the unbelievable runaway budget of (gasp) $40 million! It was rumored to have been plagued by production problems and usually those stories have a strong influence on the way a film is perceived. 25 years out, the stories have receded into the background and it may not be all that bad, but probably not worth seeking out.

Film debuts:

Chris Rock in Beverly Hills Cop II
Stephen Dorff in The Gate

In other news:

7th - Shelley Long makes her final appearance as Diane Chambers on "Cheers" until the series finale in 1993.
8th - Democratic presidential front runner Gary Hart drops out of primary race over his extra-marital affair with Donna Rice.
9th - Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers marry.
17th - The USS Stark is attacked by an Iraqi warplane under mysterious circumstances. 37 sailors were killed. The Captain Glenn Brindel was subsequently relieved of command, received an official reprimand, and was forced into early retirement for failing to adequately defend the ship (no shots were fired in return).
29th - Director John Landis is acquitted of charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment for the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two child extras on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie.


4th - Spanish national footballer and Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fábregas
15th - Scottish international tennis star Andy Murray
22nd - Serbian international tennis star Novak Djokovic


14th - Actress Rita Hayworth, aged 68, from Alzheimer's.

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